The Best Parks In San Diego, California

Balboa Park, San Diego
Balboa Park, San Diego | © Alan Crosthwaite / Alamy Stock Photo
Talitha Duncan-Todd

San Diego has beautiful weather all year round and there are a wide variety of parks to visit. There are different parks to suit everyone’s needs, such as dog-friendly parks and playgrounds for the kids. The parks all have wonderful scenery, making for perfect settings to take an evening stroll in. Check out the top five parks in the city of San Diego, California, below.

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Waterfront Park

The newly constructed Waterfront Park is the most significant waterfront open space park in downtown San Diego. The historical landscape and landmark county building forms the park’s center, while an interactive fountain extends from the building and into the park, defining a large civic green. The park also features intimate garden rooms with distinct themes, a children’s play zone, and several picnic areas. Waterfront Park’s diverse spaces can accommodate public and private special events of various sizes, festivals, farmers markets, and other recreational activities. The park makes for a great day for the family and kids.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California. In addition to open-space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. There are also many recreational facilities, several gift shops and restaurants within the boundaries of the park. Placed in reserve in 1835, the park’s site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use.

Mission Bay Park

Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. The park offers a wide range of recreational activities including paths for walking and jogging, and playgrounds for children. It is one of San Diego’s most popular locations to fly a kite, picnic or sail a model yacht. Fire rings make it possible to cook outside and stay warm. Annual attendance in the park is estimated at 15 million visitors. It’s the ideal setting for a day with the family.

Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park

Kate O. Sessions Memorial Park is a dog-friendly recreational area boasting sweeping hillside views, sports fields and a playground. A park with a beautiful view, the area overlooks Pacific Beach, Point Loma, downtown San Diego, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and more. This is a great open space for events and for dogs and kids to roam around. The tranquility of the area makes the setting perfect for a picnic with your family or a loved one. At night, it’s a beautiful setting to see the scenery and go star gazing.

Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs is a neighborhood in the Point Loma community of San Diego. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Ocean Beach on the north, Catalina Boulevard and Santa Barbara on the east, and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on the south. There are also surfing spots below the cliffs. The cliffside trails are popular for walking and for watching the sunset, but be careful as the cliffs are undeveloped and can be dangerous; falls from the cliffs have resulted in deaths and injuries.

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